Technology Is Biggest Meetings Trend, Survey Shows

Meeting planners are using more technology more often, for both large and small events, according to a recent survey by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). The survey suggests that planners are also being affected by rising travel, hotel and gas prices, as well as environmental trends.

According to HMAI, 57.5 percent of meeting and event planners say they are incorporating technology into their meetings with the use of online registration. Meanwhile, approximately 20.4 percent say they are using video conferencing, 17.7 percent social networks and 14.2 percent blogs.

A small portion of respondents reported using other tools, including podcasts, electronic surveys and cyber cafes, while many suggested that their meetings—including their technology budgets—are being impacted by the economy, including rising hotel rates, airfares and gas prices.

The HMAI survey—which also noted planners' interest in green meetings and professional education—was distributed to meeting planners who are attending the association's Affordable Meetings National Conference & Exposition Sept. 10-11 in Washington, D.C., where HMAI will also host its first ever Event Technology Expo in order to connect attendees with meetings-specific technology vendors and education.

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